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Arts and Entertainment

New Roller Coaster Coming to Silver Dollar City

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/new-roller-coaster-coming-silver-dollar-city_43214.mp3

Outlaw Run is what Silver Dollar City is calling its new wooden roller coaster, set to open in Spring 2013.  The ride contains the steepest drop on a wood coaster—at 162 feet and 81 degrees, it’s nearly vertical.

It’s the only wood coaster in the world to twist upside down with three inversions, including a 720-degree double barrel roll.

And it’s claimed to be the second fastest wood coaster in the world with a top speed of 68 mph.

Eric Gieszl with ultimaterollercoaster.com can’t wait to try the new ride out…

"You know, in the 16 years that I've been following roller coasters, it's only the second wooden coaster to ever have an inversion, and the one that had an inversion before is no longer in existence, so this is a very very unique situation."

"Lift that track"

With the lifting into place of the last part of the double barrel roll by a giant crane, officials announced the new attraction.

Herschend Family Entertainment co-owner Pete Hershend says they started planning for the new ride in 2010.  He says it's going to be an exciting ride…

"It is the steepest drop of any wooden coaster in the nation.  It is the only wooden coaster anywhere in the world that does...a true barrel roll, and it's fast.  Well, you'd be over the speed limit on Highway 65 if you rode this out there."

According to park officials, fewer than 50 trees were removed to make way for the coaster.  Whenever a tree could be saved, the coaster design was modified to do so.  And for every tree that was removed, more were planted somewhere on the park grounds.

Hershend says that aspect was important…

"We have a policy inside the company, when we build ride like this there is no question it had to take down trees--as few as possible, but when we take down a tree--I'm not talking about a little twiglet, I'm talking about trees--when we take down a tree we will plant two or more trees back in the ground somewhere, some around this ride, others elsewhere on the grounds, so it's always better than a two for one.  That's been a practice of the company since we were born."

The ride, manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction Group in Idaho, has a Wild West theme—trains made to look like stagecoaches take riders along the more than half-mile ride, which will last one minute and 27 seconds but will, to some at least, feel like a lot longer.

For KSMU News, I’m Michele Skalicky.